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How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress

Are you seeing 500 internal server error in WordPress? Internal server error is one of the most common WordPress errors. Since the error doesn’t give any other information, many beginners find it quite frustrating. In this article, we will show you how to easily fix internal server error in WordPress.

How to fix internal server error in WordPress

What Causes Internal Server Error in WordPress?

Internal server error is not specific to WordPress. It can happen with any website running on a web server. Due to the generic nature of this error, it does not tell the developer anything.

Asking how to fix an internal server error is like asking your doctor how to fix the pain without telling them where the pain is.

Example of a WordPress website showing internal server error

Internal server error in WordPress is often caused by plugin or theme functions. Other possible causes of internal server error in WordPress that we know of are: corrupted .htaccess file and PHP memory limit.

We have also heard internal server error only showing up when you are trying to access the admin area while the rest of the site works fine.

That being said, now let’s take a look at how to go about troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress.

Video Tutorial

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If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

Checking for Corrupt .htaccess File

The first thing you should do when troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress is check for the corrupted .htaccess file.

You can do so by renaming your main .htaccess file to something like .htaccess_old. To rename the .htaccess file, you will need to login to your site using FTP or File Manager app in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

Once you connected, the .htaccess file will be located in the same directory where you will see folders like wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes.

Editing .htaccess file in WordPress

Once you have renamed the .htaccess file, try visiting your site to see if this solved the problem. If it did, then give yourself a pat on the back because you fixed the internal server error.

Before you move on with other things, make sure that you go to Settings » Permalinks page in WordPress admin area and click the save button without making any changes. This will generate a new .htaccess file for you with proper rewrite rules to ensure that your post pages do not return a 404 error.

If checking for the corrupt .htaccess file solution did not work for you, then you need to continue reading this article.

Increasing the PHP Memory Limit

Sometimes internal server error can happen if you are exhausting your PHP memory limit. Use our tutorial on how to increase PHP memory limit in WordPress to fix that.

If you are seeing the internal server error only when you try to login to your WordPress admin or uploading an image in your wp-admin, then you should increase the memory limit by following these steps:

  1. Create a blank text file called php.ini
  2. Paste this code in there: memory=64MB
  3. Save the file
  4. Upload it into your /wp-admin/ folder using FTP

Several users have said that doing the above fixed the admin side problem for them.

If increasing the memory limit fixed the problem for you, then you have only fixed the problem temporarily. You still need to find the cause that is exhausting your memory limit.

This could be a poorly coded plugin or even a theme function. We strongly recommend that you ask your WordPress web hosting company to look into the server logs to help you find the exact diagnostics.

If increasing the PHP memory limit did not fix the issue for you, then you are in for some more troubleshooting.

Deactivate all Plugins

If none of the above solutions worked for you, then this error is most likely being caused by a specific plugin. It is also possible that it is a combination of plugins that are not playing nice with each other.

Sadly, there is no easy way to find this out. You have to deactivate all WordPress plugins at once.

Follow the instructions in our guide on how to deactivate all WordPress plugins without WP-Admin.

Deactivate all WordPress plugins

If disabling all plugins fixed the error, then you know it is one of the plugins that is causing the error.

Simply go to the WordPress admin area and click on ‘Plugins’. Now you need to reactivate one plugin at a time until you find the one that caused the issue. Get rid of that plugin, and report the error to the plugin author.

Re-uploading Core Files

If the plugin option didn’t fix the internal server error, then it is worth re-uploading the wp-admin and wp-includes folder from a fresh WordPress install.

This will NOT remove any of your information, but it may solve the problem in case any file was corrupted.

First you will need to visit the WordPress.org website and click on the Download button.

Download WordPress

This will install WordPress zip file to your computer. You need to extract the zip file and inside it you will find a wordpress folder.

Next you need to connect to your WordPress website using an FTP client. Once connected go to the root folder of your website. It is the folder that has wp-admin, wp-includes, wp-content folders inside it.

In the left column open the WordPress folder on your computer. Now you need to select wp-includes and wp-admin folders and then right-click and select ‘Upload’.

Upload fresh WordPress files

Your FTP client will now transfer those folder to your server. It will ask you whether you would like to overwrite the files. Select ‘Overwrite’ and then select ‘Always use this action’.

Overwrite files

Your FTP client will now replace your older WordPress files with newer fresh copies. If your WordPress files were corrupted, then this step will fix the internal server error for you.

Ask your Hosting Provider

If all methods fail to fix internal server error on your website, then it is time to get some more help. Contact your web hosting support team and they will be able to check the server logs and locate the root cause of the error.

If you want to continue troubleshooting on your own, then see our ultimate WordPress troubleshooting guide for beginners.

We hope this article helped you fix the internal server error in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

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Reader Interactions

655 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. nothing but “Re-uploading Core Files” solved it!
    I used a copy of a similar page that had no problems!
    Thanks!

  2. Your article did help me solve the issue. The problem seem to start when I tried to add new pages and/or post. After reading your article I first went into my file manager in my hosting control panel and tired to change the name of htaccess file but file manager would not allow me to do this so I went back into wordpress and deactivated ALL my plugins and then I could add pages and post with no error messages so I then reactivated one plugin at a time and each would add post/page until I found the plugin that was causing the problem so WP is running great again thanks to you, I am very new to WP as I always develop my websites in Dreamweaver.

  3. I was having trouble with this and i tried every solution here.
    Nothing worked , then i looked in the folder where wp-config , wp-mail is and i found a file named erro_log.
    I looked and found two of my pages inside the theme was giving error i just upload again via ftp the files and Boom!
    All working again.

  4. inre: Re-uploading the core files includes/admin… am I overwriting the existing files or do I have do something first like re-name the old files before ftp’ing the new core files in. I’ve searched everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve seen an answer stated definitively on that.

    Thanks.

  5. I went through every step and I couldn’t fix the error. So, I deleted the child theme and re-set the permalinks to Post name – It worked. Thanks for the tutorial…

  6. thanks wpbeginner
    you really made my day
    changging .httaccess to the basic help my site up and run again

    basic wordpress .httacess
    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

    # END WordPress

  7. I renamed the Plugins folder to Plugins.de
    i logged into my site, it listed all my plugins but said they were not present.
    I logged out of my site.
    I then renamed the folder back to Plugins. I logged into my site, all the plugins were there but not activated. i activated the plugins 1 at a time until i found the corrupted plugin. i then deleted that plugin, reloaded it, activated it and now all works perfectly.

  8. Hello, I am new to a company and they had a third party create and run their wordpress, now ive somehow accidentally managed to change the URL of the site to something else rather that what was purchased and added to the business website using the url from a host, I think they use Fast host, but I get a 500 internal error now and I cannot log into the account and when you go to the web page it come up without a theme or anythning. Please Advise as I need this sitem up and running again asap!

  9. I renamed my htacces and it worked but my problem is it toke back the Maximum upload file size which increased before to its default plz help

  10. I had an issue where none of these things worked for me. For some reason, whenever I clicked “save” in the general settings or when clicking “save” in the permalinks settings, it would send me into a 500 server error loop. The only way to fix this was to upload a new “clean” version of an .htaccess file I had from another site running a similar setup. Same host, etc. Clicking save would trigger a change in the .htaccess file and basically corrupt it. In speaking with Bluehost tech support (like the 7th or 8th time) I finally found a stud tech support and he addressed the issue by disabling something called the “endurance cache plugin.” If you are on Bluehost and face the same issue, have your support try this. It could save you both hours!

  11. Deactivating plugins and then Activating them solved it for me thanks. One tip for you video is to slow down on each item I had to pause and rewind like 3 times lol ;)

  12. Thank you so much for posting this help tutorial. It was a corrupt plugin that caused the problem. I changed the plugin folder name and managed to get back in and turn them back on one-by-one.

  13. I was updating a plugin and then I got the 500 internal server error. I watched the video above and I am a internet technology moron. In the video the author is on a screen I have no idea how to get to or what it even is. Please help.

    Maurice

  14. Useful but since I’m such a newbie and still learning WordPress, I am stuck. I can’t even seem to log in because of the 500 internal server error. Do you know what I should do?

  15. i tried all the above solutions but none worked correctly .

    Here is my situtation;
    1. frontend not working (I need solution for this)
    2. backend login works fine

    • Same problem here. Clean WP installation works fine. Restoring DB and files from local server to hosting – front page’s blank screen, admin panel is available.

      Have you already solved your problem, Atin?

      • Have you tried resaving the Permalink structure under Settings? This can help restore a corrupted .htaccess file, which I’ve found causes a lot of those broken-front-end, working-back-end problems.

    • I’m the opposite, front end working, haven’t even been able to get back end working at all since making it live through wp-admin! Tried everything!!

  16. Thank you for this article! It helped me resolve issues with my site quickly rather than having to rely on tech support that takes days!

  17. Thank you,

    In my case, I found the theme is causing the error. After deleting, it works.

    How to fix this, This is a premium theme which can’t be downloaded from wordpress directly.

    This theme is perfectly working on my another site which is controlled by vestacp.

    But, This server is managed by CWP. So, Centos web panel security may be the reason for this http 500 error??

    Please help

    Thanks

  18. After updating WordPress to 4.7.2, I’m getting the 404 error (“The requested URL / was not found on this server”). My host said to go to the settings tab and saved them – no luck. I’ve deactivated the plug-ins – no luck. This hasn’t happened in 7 years. Any thoughts?

  19. Ignore my last comment. I figured out what I did. I now just am unsure on how to figure out which plugin it was that messed me up. lol

  20. I just followed these steps as I had an Error 500. I can now get back into WordPress admin (thank you), but none of my plug-ins are back. I could add them all again, but I have NO IDEA what I had. Any advice on how to get them back? This happened once before and it all came back fine when I deactivated. I’m a complete novice, so I’m guessing I hit something wrong. Thanks.

  21. I encountered this error while restoring via a backupbuddy zip file. I uploaded the zip and importbuddy.php script in the root directory via FileZilla and ran the script. However, during the process, i got this error. Any idea how to fix this issue?
    Thanks.

  22. Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

    My hosting company was not helpful. I am just a simple guy who was happy with WordPress. The tech support on the phone was annoyed, and rude.
    Finally got this to work … it was the htaccess thing.

    I need to find new hosting company … any recommendations ?

  23. Thanks a lot for this TIP, I did as suggested and wordked as a charm. I renamed the .htacces file, just wondering if that file is needed or the server generates a new one?

    • WordPress regenerates it automatically if it doesn’t find one. You can also regenerate it by visit Settings » Permalinks page in your WordPress admin area. Simply click on the save changes button without making any changes.

      Admin

  24. I am getting the HTTP 500 error when I try to access the admin site. The site itself seems to be working as normal though. This has happened after I updated to WP 4.7. Any suggestions?

    • I just had this exact issue and here is how I solved it.

      1. Rename the plugin folder via ftp. i.e. plugin-test.
      2. Visit the website’s admin page
      2.a. When prompted, update the database
      3. Make sure you can go in and out of the sites admin page like normal.
      4. Rename the plugin folder back to original name.

      That fixed the issue for me.

  25. Thanks! Its unbelievable post about fixing internal server error. I was frustrated about this error and finally fixed it by this post and i like all The posts written here.

  26. I am getting the http error 500 message when I try to log into the admin site and am unable to access it. The site itself works fine though. I was upgrading the site to the latest version of WP. Can anyone help?

  27. I’m unable to access the dashboard for my site so I don’t know how I can perform the above checks.

  28. Life saver thank you. Mine was caused by a plugin which I deleted from the hosting control panel and all was well again.

  29. Thanks so much for this article (and for all your great articles!) As a new wordpress developer, you just saved me hours of stressing!!

  30. I run several sites and have run into a strange problem. I can access one site, but not the admin. On another I can’t access the site or admin. Another site is unaffected.For the problem sites I get error 500.

    When I spoke to my service provider, the weird thing is that the CAN access the login screen that I can’t.

    I’ve tried your suggestions to no avail and am still unable to get to my dashboard :(

  31. This would be helpful if I could get into the site to begin with, but that’s the problem I’m having. Unable to log in and getting a INTERNAL SERVER ERROR 500

  32. Hello,

    Thanks for the article. After trying everything you suggested, I managed to get my site back up, however now it seems I am experiencing a new issue. I cannot install, download, update anything… it just says Unpacking or downloading and nothing happens.

    Is there anything I can do? :(

    Best!

  33. Thanks! Really hopeful. I had a 500 Internal Server Error, spent a lot of time looking for solutions in the web, and at least you were the only one who gave the right answer. now it goes! The site is , showed only the home page and not the others, but reading your answers and applying them and now is on again. Great!
    Thanks again!!!

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